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Probability in the Philosophy of Religion$
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Jake Chandler and Victoria S. Harrison

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199604760

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604760.001.0001

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Bayes, God, and the Multiverse

Bayes, God, and the Multiverse

(p.103) 6 Bayes, God, and the Multiverse
Probability in the Philosophy of Religion

Richard Swinburne

Oxford University Press

The chapter begins by summarizing how the structure of an argument from the fine-tuning of a single universe to the existence of God can be expressed in terms of Bayes’ theorem. There could however be scientific evidence in favour of the existence of a multiverse. Insofar as the theory of such a multiverse is simpler than that of a single universe, and that theory makes good predictions, it would make it more probable that there will be a fine-tuned universe, and so — it might seem — would diminish the force of an argument from fine-tuning to God. But it would not diminish it greatly, because God has reason to create such a multiverse, and the supposition that he has done so is a very simple explanation of the existence of such a multiverse, whereas the existence of an uncaused multiverse would be a very complex supposition.

Keywords:   Bayes, fine-tuning, God, multiverse, simplicity, predication, universe

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